Bilberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola)

Bilberry bumblebee (Bombus monticola).


Species distribution map from
Red: records 2000-present. Yellow: pre-2000 records.*

A particularly attractive bumblebee, with bright yellow bands on the thorax and a rich orange-red tail covering around two-thirds of the abdomen. A localised and declining species, found almost exclusively on moorland in association with stands of Bilberry. No records from the south-east.

Bilberry bumblebees. Photo credit: Ian Fozzard (left), Keith Broomfield (right).

The Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), Scottish Isles orange-tailed form of the Heath bumblebee (Bombus jonellus), and males of the Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) have the same red tail and yellow-black-yellow thorax of the Bilberry bumblebee, but only this species has the red tail extending over more than 50% of the abdomen.

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* This map displays the data currently publically available on the NBN Atlas website at Data have been contributed by a range of organisations: see here for the full list.  Please note that records from the national recording body (BWARS) are not yet available on the NBN so this map may appear incomplete.

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